Not for sale

Liver­pool owner has no plans to sell team

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By REUTERS

The Amer­i­can own­ers of Liver­pool, one of the most fa­mous teams in English soc­cer, are not plan­ning to sell, a se­nior source at the club said on Sun­day, after re­ports that a Chi­nese-backed con­sor­tium wanted to buy a siz­able stake.

There were no ac­tive dis­cus­sions in­volv­ing Fen­way Sports Group, the Bos­ton­based own­ers, and the English Pre­mier League club had re­ceived no bid, added the source who de­clined to be named be­cause of the sen­si­tiv­ity of the sub­ject.

The source re­stated the club’s po­si­tion that its own­ers would lis­ten to any ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est from po­ten­tial in­vestors in Liver­pool but move for­ward only with the right part­ner.

Chi­nese groups an­nounced deals this month to buy Italy’s AC Mi­lan, English Pre­mier League West Bromwich Al­bion and sec­ond-tierFrench side Aux­erre.

Liver­pool have won the English league ti­tle 18 times but the last of those tri­umphs wasin 1990 be­fore thePremier League was set up.

Clubs such as Chelsea and Manch­ester City, bankrolled by wealthy own­ers from Rus­sia and the Gulf, have over­taken them in re­cent years.

The Fi­nan­cial Times re­ported that Liver­pool’s own­ers had hired an in­vest­ment bank to ad­vise on the pos­si­ble sale of a siz­able stake to a part­ner­ship be­tween Ever­bright, a Chi­nese State-owned fi­nan­cial con­glom­er­ate, and PCP Cap­i­tal Part­ners, run by fi­nancier Amanda Stave­ley.

Ear­lier this week, chair­man Tom Werner de­nied Liver­pool is up for sale while chief ex­ec­u­tive Ian Ayre said the club was not en­gaged in in­vest­ment dis­cus­sions with any­one.

Liver­pool, whose back­ers also own the Bos­ton Red Sox baseball team, is just com­plet­ing re­de­vel­op­ment work to in­crease the ca­pac­ity of their fa­mous An­field sta­dium to 54,000.

A spokesman for the Bri­tish gov­ern­ment, which un­der new Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May has said it will re­view a Chi­nese-backed nu­clear en­ergy project, de­clined to com­ment on the re­port, say­ing it was a mat­ter for Liver­pool’s own­ers.

Other re­cent re­cip­i­ents of Chi­nese back­ing in­clude English club­sAs­ton Villa, Wolver­hamp­ton Wan­der­ers and In­ter Mi­lan while Manch­ester City and Atletico Madrid have sig­nif­i­cant mi­nor­ity in­vest­ments from the coun­try.

REUTERS

Soc­cer fans dur­ing a pre­sea­son friendly match be­tween Liver­pool and Bris­bane Roar at the Sun­corp Sta­dium, Bris­bane, Aus­tralia.

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